I have received a number of communications from many readers who have expressed great concern that they believe they have a budding narcissistic child. I also hear heartbreaking life stories of mothers and fathers who are being mistreated, dismissed and manipulated by their adult narcissistic children. If you are married to a narcissist there is no certainty that your child will become a narcissist. With your input as a loving parent, your child's chances of becoming a solid compassionate human being are increased immeasurably. One should not play down the fact that a narcissistic mother or father will leave some kind of negative psychological imprint on his/her child.
As parents we are required to protect our children on every level. One of these ways is to observe and be honest with ourselves about our children. Is one child being chosen as a special golden one? Is the narcissistic parent giving the child special privileges and a lack of limits attitude not permitted to the other children in the family. Is the child mimicking the narcissistic mother or father by behaving with coldness, lack of empathy, manipulatoin and intimidation toward his siblings, playmates and other family members. Are there reports from preschool or school of bullying and treating other students with a harsh lack of respect. Parent's intuition is a very powerful tool. It will tell you what is happening to your child. The truth is very difficult to face but essential.
When a child is young it is possible to get them the professional help that they need to shift the trajectory of the development away from narcissistic personality disorder. It will take research and patience to find the best psychotherapist who works with children who are moving toward becoming narcissists. The problem becomes one of dealing with the narcissist spouse and parent who may not be cooperative about having his/her child in therapy. After all, the narcissist is perfect and so is his child. It is well worth taking on this challenge. You may need to seek professional help yourself in making these decisions and working through this process for the sake of your child and the family, including yourself.
Raising a loving, empathic child who becomes a deeply caring human being represents the first parental priority. Fancy schooling, being popular, being a star in class all fade in comparision with looking at our children and knowing that they are capable of giving and receiving love and that they are contributing to the precious human universal web of life. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consulation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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